On March 22, 1900 Anne Rainsford French became the first woman in America to get a driver’s license. Over 100 years later the number of women with licenses surpassed men for the first time. And the ability to get around independently has helped empower women all around the world.
Today that freedom is helping (literally) drive another wave of women’s empowerment: the opportunity to fit work around life, rather than the other way round. Around 20 million Americans work fewer hours than they would like for “non-economic reasons”, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These include personal commitments, in particular child care, that can make full-time jobs so difficult.
It’s one of the reasons Uber announced a commitment to get one 1 million women drivers using our app by 2020. For women around the world, Uber offers something unique: work on demand, whenever you want it. Drivers can make money on their own terms and set their own schedules.
According to a recent survey, at the end of last year 19 percent of drivers using the Uber app in the U.S. were women, compared to 14 percent a year ago. And last month, 21 percent of our active uberX driver-partners in the U.S. were women. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Women are signing up to drive with Uber in greater numbers: 29 percent of new signups in the U.S. are female. In the past year alone, over 230,000 American women have driven their first trip.
We’ve seen that amazing things can happen when women take the wheel.
Here in Florida, women like Jazmin, are driving with Uber to spend more time with their families while also having a reliable source of income. Jazmin is her own boss, she sets her own hours, and as a result—is spending more time with her two children than ever before. One of her favorite reasons to drive with Uber is knowing that she is saving lives by keeping drunk drivers off the road and getting riders home safely.
Today we want to celebrate International Women’s Day by thanking all of the women, like Jazmin, who help hundreds of thousands of riders get from A to B every day.